UK High Commissioner to Ghana, His Excellency Iain Walker, yesterday February 7th, visited mental health and epilepsy service users and their primary carers in the Tolon District of the Northern Region of Ghana. The visit was facilitated by BasicNeeds-Ghana and its implementation partner in the Northern Region, Gub-Katimali Society (GKS). The High Commissioner was in the company of Philip Smith, Country Director for DFID UK in Ghana and Liberia based in Accra, among others.

Experts from mental health programmes in Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria gathered in London on 16th to 22nd January, 2018 to share learning about the most effective ways to support people with mental health conditions in Africa.The five-day learning event was hosted by BasicNeeds UK, which has been part of the CBM family since 2017. It brought together three organisations that have been working to help people with mental health problems in different parts of Africa – Caritas Nyeri from Kenya, Voice Ghana from Ghana and Gede Foundation from Nigeria – along with BasicNeeds and CBM staff.

Staff of BasicNeeds-Ghana is undergoing a two-day orientation on the protocols of the project Strengthening Mental Health and Research Training (SMART) Africa. The project, which is a pilot study, is part of a larger collaboration among Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda and U.S researchers funded by the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). In Ghana, the study is led by researchers from the University of Ghana in collaboration with BasicNeeds-Ghana. The training facilitators are Prof Fred Ssewamdle and Dr Ozge Bahar (both from Washington University) and Dr Apollo Kivumbi (SMART Africa Project Director, Uganda). The SMART Africa-Ghana team is comprised of Dr Emmanuel Asampong and Dr Abdallah Ibrahim, both from the School of Public Health, University of Ghana.

Staff of BasicNeeds-Ghana is undergoing a two-day orientation on the protocols of the project titled "Strengthening Mental Health and Research Training (SMART) Africa". The project, which is a pilot study, is part of a larger collaboration among Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda and U.S researchers funded by the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

BasicNeeds Ghana has donated a computer and its accessories to the Psychiatric Unit of the Mamobi General Hospital. The donation was in response to a request made by the hospital to BasicNeeds-Ghana for support in processing and storing patient hospital records. The items, which were presented at a small ceremony at the hospital on December 20th, 2017, comprised of an HP Desktop computer, a color printer and an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) unit.

BasicNeeds-Ghana is privileged to host the Chief Executive Officer of BasicNeeds UK, Adrian Sell, who is in Ghana for a working visit between December 15th to 21st, 2017. This is the first time Adrian is visiting Ghana upon assumption of office thirteen months ago. During his visit, the CEO interacted with key stakeholders of BasicNeeds-Ghana and paid field visits to selected project sites. He also interacted with Board members and staff of BasicNeeds-Ghana and its partners.

BasicNeeds-Ghana, in collaboration with the mental health staff of the Ledzokuku-Krowor Municipal (LEKMA) Hospital held a durbar to sensitise the Chiefs and people of the Ga-Dangme Traditional Area. The durbar, funded by UK aid, was held on November 21, 2017 and was graced by the the Wulomors of the Ga-Dangme Traditional Area as well as their Mankralo and other eminent chiefs and elders of the community.

Bolgatanga, the Upper East Regional capital, was recently made home to the third BasicNeeds-Ghana field office. This was in recognition of the scale of ongoing interventions in the region. Prior to openning a field office in Upper East Region, BasicNeeds-Ghana worked through partners - PRIDE-Ghana and the Zuure Organic Vegetable Farmers’ Association (ZOVFA).

The CEO of the Mental Health Authority- Ghana, Dr Akwasi Osei, has said that the biggest problems bedevilling the mental health sector in Ghana are inadequate resources, over institutionalisation, over-medicalisation and over centralisation of mental health services. He said this on the GBC in-studio talk show, ‘Talking Point’ to mark the 2017 world mental health day.

Respect for rights of vulnerable people is an important consideration within the development space. This is because abuse of the rights of any individual is an affront to the whole of society. It is, therefore, incumbent on everyone to respect the rights of others and demand others do same. When society fails to protect the human rights of its members, especially the most vulnerable, it fails in its mandate to protect and harness the full potential of all its members for society's development and the development of its members.

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